Aruba is known for being the happiest island in the Caribbean, it has the sunniest days in the region and is surrounded by the most beautiful beaches in the world. If you’re looking for the perfect island to get away from it all for one day, you’ll find it here.
GUEST POST BY ANGELO LIMON
|One day in Grand Cayman Itinerary
What’s The Best Time to Visit Aruba?
The best time to visit Aruba depends on the experience you’re looking for. Beaches, sunny weather, fine dining, and activities will be available year round. However, there are some seasonal events and celebrations that you don’t want to miss out on.
Carnival is one of the biggest celebrations on the island. It has plenty of night and day street parades with thousands of participants in costumes dancing to good music. You’re going to have the time of your life watching the parade from the sidelines.
If you like beach parties and crowds of music lovers, visit Aruba during festivals:
- – Flip Flop (April)
- – Soul Beach Music Festival (May)
- – Aruba Summer Music Festival (June)
- – Electric Festival (September)
- – Love Fest (November).
December is also a nice month to visit Aruba, because the Christmas spirit is unique on the island during the holidays. Not only is the atmosphere one of a kind, there’s plenty of traditional dishes, snacks and beverages only served during the holidays (that you’ll absolutely love).
The best time to visit Aruba also depends if you can get the deals on price for flights and accommodation. During low season (May – November) you can find cheap flights and accommodation in Aruba online (you also avoid tourist crowds during low season). You’ll also find more deals on airfare and places to stay by visiting Aruba during the hurricane season (June – November). Aruba is not in the direct path of hurricanes in the Caribbean and is rarely affected by storms (take advantage of this).
It doesn’t matter when you plan your trip to Aruba – you’ll have a great time no matter when you visit.
a Few Facts About Aruba
You’ve never heard of Aruba before?
It’s an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, just north of the coast of Venezuela. Aruba is so close to Venezuela that on a clear day you can actually see a part of the mainland. The island is divided into different districts: Oranjestad (Capital), Noord, Paradera, Savaneta, Santa Cruz, Pos Chiquito and San Nicolas. From the northwestern tip to the other side of the island is about 20 miles (and at its widest point it’s nearly 6 miles wide).
Aruba is a small island, but it has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world. There’s over 90 nationalities represented here. Because of this strong influence by different countries, locals are fluent in at least 4 languages (or more): Dutch, Spanish, English and Papiamento (native language).
One Day in Aruba Itinerary
The island is not big, but it’s impossible to really see and do everything in one day. To make the most of your day on the island, start exploring as early as possible. Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Aruba.
After breakfast (try the Aruban pastechi) head out to Oranjestad for some shopping, sightseeing, entertainment and lunch. Oranjestad is the islands capital, and it’s also the shopping mecca and a place for entertainment (day and night).
The downtown area is dotted with colorful buildings, flea markets, shopping malls, museums, jewelry shops, bars, and restaurants.
Hop on one of the new streetcars that loop the main street and journey through the hottest spots in the main street (all rides are free).
Do some shopping
There are four main shopping zones:
- Main Street – luxury retail stores, boutiques, surrounded by historic colorful architectures – Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Renaissance Marketplace – array of shops, dining, and live entertainment in a lively atmosphere – Monday to Saturday 10:00AM – 8:00 PM
- Renaissance Mall – over 60 fine retail luxury shops, dining and entertainment – Monday to Saturday 10:00AM – 8:00 PM
- Royal Plaza – A signature pink mall with three levels of shops and dining – Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM for shops, dining open till later.
Learn more about the history
If you want to know more about Aruba, visit Bon Bini Festival (Bon Bini means welcome). It’s the perfect introduction to Aruba if you want to learn more about the history of the island (and taste traditional meals, drinks and listen to Aruban music). Bon Bini takes place every Tuesday from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM at the courtyard of Fort Zoutman.
Visit the museums
Fort Zoutman (Historical Museum) is the oldest building in Oranjestad and has a collection of documents from the past.
Visit the Archeological museum and see the Amerindian cultural heritage from three periods: preceramic, ceramic and historic period.
Buy some souvenirs
Are you looking for arts and souvenirs to take back home?
Cosecha is the place to go to find these unique gifts to take home. It’s a local art gallery store located right in the middle of the downtown area. This is the perfect place to buy unique arts and crafts handmade by local artisans.
You’ve probably worked up an appetite after shopping, learning the history and culture about the island. Have lunch with a traditional flair at West Deck Beach Bar & Island Grill located on Governors Bay overlooking the beautiful the ocean.
After lunch, head over to Eagle, one the most talked about beaches in the world. Eagle Beach is popular for its beautiful gin blue waters and long stretches of white sand. Before taking a dip in the ocean, find a palapa, or just relax under a palm tree and enjoy the amazing view.
Besides admiring how beautiful the beach is and swimming in it, there’s also plenty of water sports at Eagle Beach, from jet skis, banana boats and parasailing. It’s not limited to this either, there’s plenty of unusual and unique things to do in Aruba.
Later in the evening, head over to where the action is at the high rise hotel strip to catch early bird dinners at the best restaurants in Aruba from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM (most restaurants have special prices on certain items on their menu).
Or visit other popular restaurants on the high rise strip and try the top dishes in Aruba, and walk around the promenade near South beach, Arawak garden and Paseo Herencia mall.
Late night entertainment
For late night entertainment, head over to one of the best clubs (Gusto) for happy hour 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM (half price on all drinks and $3.00 beers).
If you’re looking for a more relaxed way to end the night, try your chances with lady luck at Crystal Casino (open 24 hours).
After beating the odds, taste the street cuisine in Aruba at one of the local favorite food trucks (Candela) which is right outside of the casino (delicious, you’ll thank me later).
Where to stay in Aruba?
Extra tips for visiting Aruba
– Look for coupons at the airport arrival hall inside the brochures they give out to visitors. Or find coupons at the hotel inside the free newspapers. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save at restaurants, shops, and excursions with these coupons.
– Don’t worry buying water, the island has its own desalination plant and tap water tastes better than bottled. You’ll save a lot of time and money instead of buying water bottled water.
– Dollars are accepted everywhere around the island, but when converting dollars, most will exchange one dollar for 1,75 Aruban guilders. Banks and casinos will change dollars at the rate of 1.85 or more.
– It’s easy to get a taxi in Aruba, but depending on the amount of sites you want to see, it can become a costly ride around the island when taking a cab (between $15 – $20 per ride).
– You can also take the bus:
Retour Card for $5.00, valid for two trips on the day of initial use.
- Day pass for $10.00 is valid for unlimited trips on the day of initial use.
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Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.